Let me begin by saying that I am not a wood turner but I am curious. That being said, I bought a Central Machinery lathe sold by Harbor Freight (Item # 34706)
This particular lathe had a 4 out of 5 star rating so I took a chance realizing the old adage ”that you get what you pay for.” However, with a 25% off coupon and the lathe on sale I walked out the door with a $218.00 investment. Several of the raters comments were that this lathe needed some ballast so I set out to build storage within the confines of the stand hoping that by the time I filled the storage bins it would be enough weight to stabilize the lathe.
Since I always like to challenge myself and my skills I set a couple of goals for this build.
1. Everything had to be made entirely of wood, no screws, hinges, pins, etc.
2. The storage had to install and be removable with no tools other than my two hands. I don’t know why I decided to do this other than just for the challenge.
3. The storage had to fit within the confines of the stand’s legs.
So here we go:
First I had to assemble the lathe stand.
I wanted the lathe mobile so I set the stand on casters.
The slope of the stand legs are 11 degrees so the end door panels, drawers, and the back and front panels were all cut taking that into consideration.
Once the front, back and side panels were built I assembled them in the stand. First the back panel was installed.
Then the front panel.
Then the two end panels which lock the front and back panels in place.
The next step was to install the floor of the storage space. This consisted of three 2×6’s planed down to an 1 1/4”. The back and front pieces were cut at an 11 degree angle to accommodate the slope of the legs. These went in first and then the middle piece locked everything in place.
I built three interior partitions, the two outside partitions do double duty acting as the back wall of the two end storage spaces and as drawer guide spacers. The center partition acts as a drawer guide spacer for all four drawers. I glued in backer bars for the two end partitions to butt up against. To keep all the partitions in alignment I pinned them with 1/4” wooden dowels. All the partitions and drawers are routed to accommodate 1/2”x1/2” hardwood runners.
The drawers are funky looking because their front and backs are sloped to fit the stand profile which means I also had to cut the front and rear dadoes for the bottoms at an angle also. This was an easy task with the tilt feature on my router lift.
After making some drawer pulls it was time to install the drawers.
With the drawers installed it was time to put on the top which consists of three 2×4” planed down. The two outer pieces have 1/2” rabbits cut into three sides so that they will sit down in the framework and lock it in place. The center piece of the top has rabbits cut in both ends and once installed locks everything in place.
I built a tool tray to sit on top of the drawer unit. It just slides in and is locked in place with two cleats attached to its bottom.
Finally, I made a bottom shelf consisting of four 2×6s planed down and rabbited on the ends so they will sit between the caster supports.
I had intended to leave this shelf open so that I could add concrete block ballast if needed but I think I will enclose it to match the top. Perhaps this will be part two of this blog when I finish with it.
This was the challenge I thought that it might be but it was a fun build. Here are a few more misc. photos thanks for your interest.
-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green